The Supreme Court In Sasidharan v Peter and Karunakar AIR 1984 SC 1700, had held that a lawyer’s office is not a ‘commercial establishment’ which requires registration under the Shops and Establishments Act. The SC held that it does not require any strong argument to justify the conclusion that the office of a lawyer or a firm of lawyers is not a ‘shop’.
In other matter, The larger bench of the Supreme Court in the decision made in Civil Appeal No.1065 of 2000, dated 27.10.2005 observed that the issue whether an advocate was running a commercial activity was not related to the decision in Hirinder Sachdev. It held Hirinder Sachdev to be a correct decision, as the distinction there was based on the statutory definition. The larger bench also clarified that it did not go into the question as to whether or not an advocate can be said to be carrying on commercial activity.
So, the conclusions of MP HC that an advocate’s work is not a commercial activity can be taken as settled by the SC.
At last, the conclusion is, advocates’ office can be operated from a residential place since it is not regarded as a commercial activity. However, this is subject to the space restrictions imposed by the local laws.